"With ABB’s new preset model for hot strip mills, Sandvik’s Steckel mill can deliver higher quality and the mill can operate more efficiently," said Patrick Högström, production manager at Sandvik Materials Technology and Torbjörn Ottosson, research and development manager at ABB.
Sandvik Materials Technology
The Sandvik’s steel plant is a capital business unit in Sandviken, Sweden, producing a large number of special steel alloys. The first Steckel mill was installed in the plant in 2004, producing the thin strip for the other Sandvik units. After a few years of operation we installed a new process control model that improves the product quality. “The variety of steel grades and sheet dimensions make the production complex and knowledge intensive,” says Patrick Högström.
- Precisely rolling the strip product thinly
- Rapidly adjusting and regulatng the mill using the control system
- Minimizing the energy consumption of the mill
ABB has developed a new preset model for hot rolling of strip products. The model provides strips with higher quality in terms of product performance and improved properties, but also delivers higher productivity and lower energy consumption throughout the rolling mill.
“It becomes smoother and produces noticeably less scrap,” said Patrick Högström. “The plant is exploited today to its full capacity, all year round, and reduced scrap means that we can increase the yield. Reduced amounts of scrap metal also reduces the environmental impact of our operations as there is less scrap metal to melt in the steel mill, and less energy consumption both there and here in the rolling mill.”
The model allows the adjustment of hundreds of different rolling parameters and greater control of thinner strips. The new preset model provides different technical solutions through several adjustments and calculations to master the advance process.
An additional simulation tool is included in this model that allows the technicians to try out a change before it is implemented, do sensitivity analyses by adjusting a mill parameter and calculate a new pass schedule by adding the steel grade and thickness.
In 2012, ABB delivered a first step in the preset model, a model for the line’s roughing mill. In 2013 the model for the Steckel mill was installed and in a later step the strip cooling got a process model.
Protecting the assets
Torbjörn Ottosson explains that the new preset model guarantees high availability and long service life. It also means that the model is easy to maintain and upgrade.